Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

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Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:50 pm

Over in the comments to the latest Dragonmarks article: Dragonmarks 6/6/16: Edition Wars, Keith Baker was talking to a fan called Pteryx about a suggestion (for Keith to make a Book of Everyday Magic for Eberron) when the conversation turned to detection magic and Keith mentioned a non-Eberron book that might be usable in Eberron:
Keith Baker on keithbaker.com wrote:
Pteryx on keithbaker.com wrote:On the topic of Eberron in Pathfinder, the new supplement Ultimate Intrigue has some interesting, potentially Eberron-relevant content in it, including a much-needed forensic-grade version of Detect Magic…


Back in 2003 I wrote a 3.5 sourcebook for Atlas Games called Crime & Punishment… setting neutral, but with a lot of material that would be useful for inquisitives or Dreadhold. C&P also included a forensic version of Detect Magic. Just out of curiosity, does the Ultimate Intrigue version allow you to identify the race or nationality of caster? This are some of the hardest checks to make in the C&P version, but the principle is that an Aundairian wizard is going to have a slightly different technique than a Karrnathi warcaster or an Aereni archmage.


Here is the blurb that Amazon has for Crime & Punishment:

Amazon wrote:Crime and Punishment (Penumbra D20) Hardcover – September 23, 2003
by Keith Baker (Author)
Image

Law is one of the defining elements of civilization. But it’s too often overlooked in a fantasy setting. In a world where high-level characters can single-handedly defeat armies, how can any powerful individual be captured or imprisoned?

Just as Dynasties and Demagogues deals with political intrigue, Crime and Punishment takes an in-depth look at campaigns that focus on the forces of the law. Players can take the roles of bounty hunters tracking down mystical renegades, justicars seeking to restore order in a cesspool of corruption and crime, mage hunters, itinerant justices, the local sheriff’s men, or even spies for the crown.

And consider that even an innocent adventurer may find himself hunted by the law if he doesn’t know what to watch out for. If the characters are on the wrong side of the law, this book provides information on what they may be up against, including new magical methods of law enforcement and imprisonment.

Crime and Punishment includes:

  • Extensive rules on conducting investigations, including new uses for old skills, new forensic spells, and specialized equipment. Plus new classes for agents of the law and those who work against them.
  • A detailed look at different systems of justice, from common law to divine law, with an emphasis on how such systems can provide opportunities and challenges for adventurers.
  • Information on running campaigns based on the law, showing players how to bring together a party of bounty hunters, a royal justice and his entourage, or a group of investigators solving crimes in a gritty metropolis.
  • Floor plans and descriptions for a variety of prisons, ranging from an extraplanar cell, to a stone garden filled with petrified prisoners, to a full-fledged mystical fortress.


Has anyone got Crime & Punishment?

How much bespoke Penumbra Campaign Setting stuff is in the book? How hard would it be to put an Eberron spin on that stuff?

Investigation seems to be a thing in Eberron, but how about the bounty hunter and royal justice stuff? Would bounty hunting work the same way in Eberron (or would it need a few tweaks)? Could the royal justice work for PCs, or would it need to be an NPC thing?

Could the various legal systems in C&P be mapped over to the various nations of Eberron? Would any need to be dropped? Are there any Eberron nations that would need totally different legal systems that are nothing like anything in the Penumbra book?

How about the prisons? How easy would it be to file the serial numbers off of them and place them on the map of Eberron?

Is there anything else in the book, that is especially useful for Eberron, that isn't in the blurb on the Amazon page?
Last edited by Big Mac on Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Puishment for Eberron

Postby kristianserrano » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:12 am

I own and have used Crime & Punishment in Eberron, and it's a perfect fit. There's nothing that I recall of any implied setting. This book also has a Bounty Hunter class that's perfect for House Tharashk and tons of magic items and spells that are perfectly at home in Eberron. It carries the same theme of magic as technology put to pragmatic use. Honestly, it's like an unofficial Eberron book in my personal collection.
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Puishment for Eberron

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:42 pm

kristianserrano wrote:I own and have used Crime & Punishment in Eberron, and it's a perfect fit. There's nothing that I recall of any implied setting. This book also has a Bounty Hunter class that's perfect for House Tharashk and tons of magic items and spells that are perfectly at home in Eberron. It carries the same theme of magic as technology put to pragmatic use. Honestly, it's like an unofficial Eberron book in my personal collection.


Sounds like it should have had it's own Eberron Expanded article, to tie each Crime & Punishment element to an appropriate part of Eberron canon. ;)
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Puishment for Eberron

Postby enderxenocide0 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:48 pm

Big Mac wrote:
kristianserrano wrote:I own and have used Crime & Punishment in Eberron, and it's a perfect fit. There's nothing that I recall of any implied setting. This book also has a Bounty Hunter class that's perfect for House Tharashk and tons of magic items and spells that are perfectly at home in Eberron. It carries the same theme of magic as technology put to pragmatic use. Honestly, it's like an unofficial Eberron book in my personal collection.


Sounds like it should have had it's own Eberron Expanded article, to tie each Crime & Punishment element to an appropriate part of Eberron canon. ;)

There's some decent overlap between parts of Crime & Punishment and the Sharn: City of Towers sourcebook.
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Puishment for Eberron

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:06 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
kristianserrano wrote:I own and have used Crime & Punishment in Eberron, and it's a perfect fit. There's nothing that I recall of any implied setting. This book also has a Bounty Hunter class that's perfect for House Tharashk and tons of magic items and spells that are perfectly at home in Eberron. It carries the same theme of magic as technology put to pragmatic use. Honestly, it's like an unofficial Eberron book in my personal collection.


Sounds like it should have had it's own Eberron Expanded article, to tie each Crime & Punishment element to an appropriate part of Eberron canon. ;)

There's some decent overlap between parts of Crime & Punishment and the Sharn: City of Towers sourcebook.


I already own Sharn: City of Towers. And there is a lot of online content that supports the book. :)

Does "overlap" mean that the Crime & Punishment stuff fits well with Sharn: City of Towers stuff? Or does it mean that both books have a percentage of almost identical content? :?
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

Postby enderxenocide0 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:30 pm

I wouldn't say identical but a lot of the ideas presented in C&P were also used in Sharn. Certainly not all, but Sharn does go into detail about city government, law and order, and the like. City of Stormreach has similar sections that focus on a different kind of government and law. But certainly a lot of what appears in C&P could be used all around Eberron in some fashion.
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:46 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:I wouldn't say identical but a lot of the ideas presented in C&P were also used in Sharn. Certainly not all, but Sharn does go into detail about city government, law and order, and the like. City of Stormreach has similar sections that focus on a different kind of government and law. But certainly a lot of what appears in C&P could be used all around Eberron in some fashion.


I suppose that Sharn law would apply to some of the areas in the Five Nations (because of their shared heritage) but that the split during the Last War would have created different customs (with different ways of enforcing laws). I guess that someone could make a list of Eberron towns and give them legal systems based on what was in Sharn: City of Towers, what was in Crime & Punishment or create some sort of new fanon system that extrapolates from either book. :)

(I think I bought one Penumbra book, when it was on sale cheap. I should go have a look to see if I already have this.)
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

Postby enderxenocide0 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:57 pm

Sharn/Brelish law is probably the prevailing legal system in the Five Nations, because all the nations had been standardized under the Code of Galifar before the war. Karrnath adopted the Code of Kaius near the beginning of the war, while Thrane's legal system has probably been merged with concepts and ideas from the Church of the Silver Flame. Aundair is probably pretty similar to the Code of Galifar still, maybe even moreso than Breland, since Aundair is a clear monarchy, while Breland has begun shifting toward the parliament. The Five Nations sourcebook does cover some of these differences as well.
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

Postby HellcowKeith » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:42 pm

Just to clarify, "Penumbra" isn't a setting; it was a line of setting-neutral books by Atlas Games. I wrote Crime & Punishment in 2003, a year before Eberron. It generally addresses concepts of dealing with the law in a fantasy setting, and when I worked on the Sharn sourcebook I incorporated some of the same ideas, since that was law in a fantasy setting... but the Sharn material isn't DIRECTLY taken from C&P. Beyond that, C&P covers more, as has been said. Essentially, you have a chapter on investigation (solving a crime); on bounty hunting (capturing the criminal); on the legal process, with separate chapters on secular and theocratic law; on ways to evade the law; on forms of punishment; and prisons. There's a range of spells and such across these chapters... so forensic magic in the section on investigation, but also a range of new divine spells in the section on divine law and punishment.

Side note: The Stone Ward in Dreadhold was an idea I originally came up with in C&P. There's a range of unusual prisons proposed for high-magic societies.

I've actually been thinking about revisiting the topic for the DM's Guild, since I wrote this thirteen years ago and I am a better writer and designer now... and while there's a lot of material that can apply to Eberron, there's a lot of ideas that have broad application. But realistically with Eberron coming up, that's not happening in the next few months.
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Re: Raiding Penumbra: Crime & Punishment for Eberron

Postby AvonRekaes » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:07 pm

For some reason I never bought this book. I've rectified the problem.

This should especially help my Sharn inquisitive agency game. It sounds system-neutral enough that I can apply its concepts to 5e, and I'm sure I can convert any 3.5 stuff to 5e if necessary.
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